Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Quick and Easy Cajun Sausage Pasta

Quick and Easy Cajun Sausage Pasta -- thehappytulip.com





You guys — this is our favorite meal so far this year. It's saucy, creamy, slightly spicy, and totally easy.

You would think as a part-time food blogger, I would have my meal planning routine down. Unfortunately, that's not the case. So I recently found myself in the not-so-unusual predicament of figuring out what to cook while at the grocery and not feeling all that inspired to cook something elaborate. I saw that smoked sausage was on sale and the lure and ease of already fully-cooked meat got to me. I knew exactly what I wanted to make.

Josh and I have attended a Mardi Gras-themed fundraiser the past couple years and the caterer always brings a spicy Cajun pasta that is to die for. It's one of those meals that gets stuck in your brain. So I decided I needed to recreate it.

In my opinion, I pretty much nailed it.

Quick and Easy Cajun Sausage Pasta -- thehappytulip.com



Quick and Easy Cajun Sausage Pasta

serves about 6

Ingredients:


  • 1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 lb. penne pasta
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons cajun seasoning*
  • 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes, undrained (use Rotel if you like more spice)
  • 1 cup cream or whole milk
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan


Directions:


  1. Boil pasta according to package directions, drain, and set aside in a large bowl.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, chop the sausage and vegetables.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the sausage, and cook until edges are caramelized -- about 5 minutes.
  4. Add in the garlic, onion, pepper, mushrooms, and cajun seasoning and cook for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Pour in the tomatoes with their juice, cream, and parmesan. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened.
  6. Pour the sauce mixture into the large bowl with the penne and mix until combined.
*Note: In my experience, cajun seasoning mixes can vary greatly in their strength, ranging from very spicy to not spicy at all. I would advise you to start with 1 tablespoon and add more to taste once your sauce is simmering.




Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Watercolor Easter Printables

Hi friends!

This week the weather is finally convincing me that it is almost spring! So in honor of all things spring, I got my watercolors out again and decided to make a couple Easter printables for you.

As intimidating to me as watercolors can be, I've had a lot of fun making all sorts of flowers. It's amazing how a colorful blob can turn into a cute little flower, isn't it?

Free Watercolor Easter Printables │ thehappytulip.com


Both of the printables are 8x10 and are for personal use only. Make sure to use the buttons below to take you to the downloadable files — don't print these post images or they might be pixelated.

Free Watercolor Easter Printables │ thehappytulip.com




download the Easter printable here
download the Easter printable here

I hope you enjoy!


Linking to:
The Makers Link Party
The Creative Collection Link Party
Best DIY Projects and Recipes Party
The Inspiration Gallery


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Homemade Garlic Butter Croutons

homemade garlic butter croutons — easy and so much better than store croutons! │ thehappytulip.com


This may seem silly, but I have to confess that I've had croutons on my brain for the past week. Josh and I stayed in on Valentine's Day and I cooked him a surf-and-turf steakhouse style dinner. And for me the highlight was the Caesar salad with homemade croutons.

There's something about bread baked to a crisp in garlicky butter . . .

homemade garlic butter croutons — easy and so much better than store croutons! │ thehappytulip.com


I considered buying croutons for the salad but store-bought croutons are never impressive and they cost a couple bucks. I knew that I could pick up a loaf of day old french bread for a buck and make something better.

I like to lightly crush the cloves and simmer them whole in the butter, instead of mincing them up to toss with the bread. I find that small garlic pieces often get black and burnt before the bread crisps up, so infusing the butter with the garlic flavor works much better.

You should bake them for about 15 minutes if you like a bit of chew in the middle, but if you like them completely crunchy than bake them for closer to 20 minutes.

If you have any extra, they freeze really well and only take a couple of minutes to thaw.

Garlic Butter Croutons

Ingredients


  • 1 loaf of french bread
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, lightly crushed (not minced)

Directions


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Slice the bread into large, 1-inch cubes.
  3. Melt the butter over medium-low heat.
  4. Add the crushed garlic cloves to the melted butter and gently simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Discard the garlic.
  6. Toss the bread cubes and butter in a large bowl until completely combined.
  7. Spread the bread on a large cookie sheet and cook for 15-20 minutes. Tossing them half way through.


homemade garlic butter croutons — easy and so much better than store croutons! │ thehappytulip.com